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Shenley Brook End School

Shenley Brook End School

Arts in the Right Place

I am writing this blog whilst dressed as an old fashioned Headmaster wearing a Shenley coloured bow tie and wielding a cane! This is all in support of our world book day celebrations which this year is on a Roald Dahl theme. I have come to school as the Headmaster from Dahl's autobiography, 'Boy.' I have also just heard a message from Willy Wonka over the school tannoy reminding students they need to find their golden tickets. The staff have made a great effort to dress up and decorate the building. I have bumped into some witches, some revolting rhyme characters, Fantastic Mr Fox, Willy Wonka and even Roald Dahl himself! Students are involved all around the school in quizzes and challenges, spotting characters and finding pheasants, as in 'Danny, Champion of the World.' It may all sound a little mad, but it is great to see us being a vibrant and creative place. However, there is some method in the madness. The Roald Dahl theme continued into an excellent twilight training session on the theme of developing students’ oracy; a big focus in our work on improving students’ learning over the next year.

It is therefore a highly appropriate time at which to share some encouraging news. The school has been awarded the Artsmark Gold award by the Arts Council of England. This is a great achievement, and in their words it reflects the way the school 'inspires young people to create, experience and participate in extraordinary art and culture.' Thank you to everyone across the school community that makes this possible through their dedication and support. I look forward to sharing more about the award and our next steps in the arts in the coming months, including our involvement in an Arts Council case study called ‘The State of the Arts.’ This will focus on the fact that as a school we do not just focus on the Arts with our commitment to art, music, DT and drama, and an exciting range of projects and performances; we also encourage curiosity and creativity through our ASK framework. I am very pleased that we will be featured in this publication. The Arts play a huge part in promoting positive mental health and well-being, develop skills of leadership and teamwork that enhance young people’s lives, and contribute to one of the largest sections of our economy. It is important to celebrate and if necessarily advocate for them!

We are also well placed to develop wider opportunities for projects through our partnership with Hazeley, who through our joint work have also been awarded the Artsmark Gold award; a real positive for the 5 Dimensions Trust!

This past weekend our Y12 Arts students had the opportunity to see their work presented as part of the 'Digital Light' exhibition at Bletchley Park which was open to the public. This was an outstanding project in which artwork based upon Islamic calligraphy was linked with patterns produced via coding to create an impressive light show beamed onto the front of the iconic mansion at Bletchley Park. It was a great example of how the Arts can creatively connect communities. Many thanks to the Islamic Arts and Culture group for their support in this project.

Once again, congratulations and thanks to all who support and champion the Arts across our community!